Amazon Kindle -- A Year Later?

boogle wrote:

The reading estimates seem to stau a bit on the long side for me, and now its switched to estimating the whole book instead of chapter. Have not figured out to change that back.

You are supposed to be able to change it by tapping on that area of the screen.

I'm close to ordering a Paperwhite. Just gotta get wife approval. I gave her $500 to spend however she wanted last weekend, so I'm thinking she will be receptive to my request this week.

PaladinTom wrote:
ColdForged wrote:

Woot! My Paperwhite shipped and will be here Wednesday. Expect a compare/contrast with my Kindle 3/KB when it arrives.

What date did you order?

Mine is still listed as shipping 10/25. I'm getting antsy.

September 20th.

ColdForged wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:
ColdForged wrote:

Woot! My Paperwhite shipped and will be here Wednesday. Expect a compare/contrast with my Kindle 3/KB when it arrives.

What date did you order?

Mine is still listed as shipping 10/25. I'm getting antsy.

September 20th.

Yikes. I ordered mine 10/1. They're really back-ordered then.

Thanks.

Funkenpants wrote:

But I don't notice a big difference from by prior reading experience on the old kindle.

That's how it appeared to me in a video review I saw. Guess I'll stay on my old Kindle 3 so I don't have to get a new Oberon cover too.

Malor wrote:
Did we ever figure out the upshot of the "emailing files to your kindle cloud thing costs money" thing discussed upthread?

The way it used to work was that they were charging you for using 3G bandwidth; I assume the deal is more or less the same. They would convert it for free, and send it to your device over 3G for $X/megabyte. I think the @free.kindle.com service was (is?) just a conversion utility, where you emailed it files to convert, and it would mail them back in .azw format, for you to install over USB.

I assume they've added something new for WiFi; my Kindle doesn't have that. I would imagine it would be free, since Amazon isn't paying a cell company to send you the files. (Cellular data costs them a ton of money.)

Think I mentioned it, but might not have. What Amazon charges for is indeed cellular data. I don't believe the free.kindle addresses still exist, so if you're sending something to your kindle, make sure that it's connected to wifi rather than 3g and it'll work the same, but not cost anything.

Too bad the second gen kindles don't have an option to connect via wifi.

Yea, that was one of the driving factors for me upgrading to the 3G.

Looks like the DX may be dead. I'm a saaad panda...

Does anyone with a Kindle Fire know if there is a writing app similar to WriteRoom for iOS. I adore that app and now that my Apple bluetooth keyboard works with the Fire I'm curious about using it for writing. Basically it's a no frills editor that provides you with a full screen blank page.

IMAGE(http://maclawstudents.com/images/writeroom_screen.gif)

The benefit of this being that it puts you in a mindset of no distractions, just writing. Plus it has DropBox support. Is there something similar for the Fire / Android?

So, the Paperwhite came in yesterday. Haven't had a ton of time for reading with it yet, but here are some quick hits:

  • They say it has 25% better contrast. I can't really tell a difference between it and my Pearl-based Kindle w/ special offers side-by-side.
  • The lighting is very effective. I read in bed last night in the darkness and it was perfectly usable. Even when it's not dark, the lighting at lower levels improves the contrast a lot.
  • They say it has 62% more pixels and it is sharper looking. Not to the level of Retina-display-sharp to my eye, but better than the Pearl.
  • Noticeably faster page turns.
  • Touch screen is very responsive. Still not sold on touchscreen on my e-reader, though. Big test will be next time I run on the treadmill.
  • It's smaller than I would have imagined. I'm used to mine in a book-style leather cover. It's actually kind of bizarrely small to me. I'm waiting on a decent flip-style cover like the Javoedge ones.
  • I think the radar feature could be really good on certain books. I want to see more.
  • I think the shopping and navigation with the touchscreen are far easier than on the toggle-button based Kindles.

Overall? Great upgrade to me.

I'm considering a Fire HD. I'd like it for games, reading, and playing music on my commute. I'd probably use it for Netflix and such at home, but only occasionally. I'd like the ability to watch TV shows or movies on the go as well, but only if I can upload my own content, perhaps ripped from my DVD's (I realize this is not likely).

I've read that lack of content is an issue with the HD and that much of the existing Fire software catalog is incompatible with the HD. Is this true? Also, is side-loading possible and are there any incompatibility problems with existing Android apps outside of the Amazon library?

Another question I have is regarding music playback. Can music continue playing as a background function when reading or playing games? I'd rather not have to carry an MP3 player as well. Also, it sounds as if someone here was having problems with the headphone jack. Is that a known issue?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I'm a terribly paranoid consumer and just want to make an informed purchase.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

D-

It is a problem. There is no YouTube app or Flash, for example. I owned Sim City for the Fire and can't download it on the HD. Not sure if there is an easy solution to this.

No flash(which means no youtube) is only really an issue for streamed content; anything that doesn't use it should still work fine. Things like MP3s and videos should still be able to play fine from the drive, since they're run on something else.

As for a solution, there isn't an easy one, since it's caused by the guys at Flash being douchy and not supporting mobile devices.

D-Man777 wrote:

I'm considering a Fire HD. I'd like it for games, reading, and playing music on my commute. I'd probably use it for Netflix and such at home, but only occasionally. I'd like the ability to watch TV shows or movies on the go as well, but only if I can upload my own content, perhaps ripped from my DVD's (I realize this is not likely).

I've read that lack of content is an issue with the HD and that much of the existing Fire software catalog is incompatible with the HD. Is this true? Also, is side-loading possible and are there any incompatibility problems with existing Android apps outside of the Amazon library?

Another question I have is regarding music playback. Can music continue playing as a background function when reading or playing games? I'd rather not have to carry an MP3 player as well. Also, it sounds as if someone here was having problems with the headphone jack. Is that a known issue?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I'm a terribly paranoid consumer and just want to make an informed purchase.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

D-

I don't have a regular fire so I can't speak to the incompatibility issues. There seems to be plenty of content. I have not done any side-loading but I know it is possible. My understanding is you can side-load apps without root but will have to root to load the Google Play store. Without the play store you have to manually update things.

Rooting is also possible. I just started playing around with root and got mine rooted yesterday. Rooting was pretty easy once I got the drivers loaded. I followed a guide on XDA Developers. There is an automated tool to do it as well.

There is a list of working apps after root at XDA Dev so you can see things that definitely work.

Music does play in the background when reading. I tested it with three games and it worked on all three (Rayman, Doodle Jump 2, Aporkalypse). The sound when playing games was not very loud for the games. Music was much louder on all three.

As for movies you can upload your own ripped dvds (not sure about blu-ray). I used handbrake and the ipad settings. Transferred the files via USB and then used the video player that came with it to play them. I had no issues. You can't zoom in full screen with the video player so it is letterboxed. The videos also don't show in you movie collection. You have to manually open the video player and they show up there.

AnimeJ wrote:

No flash(which means no youtube) is only really an issue for streamed content; anything that doesn't use it should still work fine. Things like MP3s and videos should still be able to play fine from the drive, since they're run on something else.

As for a solution, there isn't an easy one, since it's caused by the guys at Flash being douchy and not supporting mobile devices.

Doesn't YouTube mobile eschew Flash? I've yet to have an issue playing a YouTube video on an iPad. Doesn't it work the same on the Fire or any other tablet?

First, thanks for all the responses to my questions. Very helpful as always.

I did some experimenting with my wife's first gen Fire last night with ripped video. I put a native resolution episode of Big Bang Theory on it and it played well and looked fantastic. The file was pretty large at ~350MB, but that was not the problem.

The problem was getting the damned thing to connect to my PC. I connected it via USB, and the Kindle reacted as expected showing the connection and stating that it was now able to receive files from the computer. However, I couldn't get the PC to recognize the Kindle as a storage device. After LOTS of tinkering I got it to connect properly after rebooting everything. I transferred the file and it worked great.

Only after reconnecting the Kindle, it went back to being stubborn about being recognized. I finally got fed up and gave up for the night.

Is this a common problem? Has anyone had any of these problems on the HD? I did notice that when connected, it never showed the battery as charging. I tried multiple USB ports, but only had one cable. But the cable and ports have had no prior problems, including charging other devices.

I'm still waffling between a Fire HD and a Nexus 7. I'll continue to appreciate any other thoughts you fine folks might have.

D-

SommerMatt wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

No flash(which means no youtube) is only really an issue for streamed content; anything that doesn't use it should still work fine. Things like MP3s and videos should still be able to play fine from the drive, since they're run on something else.

As for a solution, there isn't an easy one, since it's caused by the guys at Flash being douchy and not supporting mobile devices.

Doesn't YouTube mobile eschew Flash? I've yet to have an issue playing a YouTube video on an iPad. Doesn't it work the same on the Fire or any other tablet?

The iPad app does. I'm not sure how it would work on a newer tablet without flash, as I don't personally have one. That said, the reports I've been reading about this seem to indicate that if you're using a browser to access youtube(like the Fire HDs would), then you're up the creek. My wife has a new iPad and doesn't have issues, but again, presumably that's due to it being app based rather than browser based.

AnimeJ wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

No flash(which means no youtube) is only really an issue for streamed content; anything that doesn't use it should still work fine. Things like MP3s and videos should still be able to play fine from the drive, since they're run on something else.

As for a solution, there isn't an easy one, since it's caused by the guys at Flash being douchy and not supporting mobile devices.

Doesn't YouTube mobile eschew Flash? I've yet to have an issue playing a YouTube video on an iPad. Doesn't it work the same on the Fire or any other tablet?

The iPad app does. I'm not sure how it would work on a newer tablet without flash, as I don't personally have one. That said, the reports I've been reading about this seem to indicate that if you're using a browser to access youtube(like the Fire HDs would), then you're up the creek. My wife has a new iPad and doesn't have issues, but again, presumably that's due to it being app based rather than browser based.

I don't think it's "app" based... I don't have a YouTube app installed. It runs through Safari, and I can watch any video that is on m.youtube.com or embedded in a website (like on BGG or GWJ). They also work on the iOS Chrome browser. Try going to the mobile site with the Fire browser and see what happens.

Weird, pretty sure that the youtube app was preinstalled on my wife's iPad, don't think I've used anything but that to watch videos. Might be that it's just old enough to have flash installed.

The iPad doesn't do Flash. There was a YouTube app that was built in, but it was removed with iOS 6. For now, you can do YouTube videos through the site on Safari or another browser. There is a YouTube official app, but its for iPhone only (not universal).

AnimeJ wrote:

Weird, pretty sure that the youtube app was preinstalled on my wife's iPad, don't think I've used anything but that to watch videos. Might be that it's just old enough to have flash installed.

From the "m.youtube.com" info stuff:

Phones & Tablets

Using our native apps or mobile website (m.youtube.com), you can watch or upload to YouTube on any connected device.

Android tablets and phones
iPhone & iPad
Blackberry
Windows phone

There was a native iOS YouTube app that launched with the iPhone and iPad, and was still in use until the launch of iOS6. Originally, I think it was necessary to get around the Flash situation, but sometime in the last few years Google has set up mobile (HTML5?) versions of nearly all of their YouTube content. I NEVER used the native iOS app, and would just go to the website. I still do. Haven't bothered to download any other apps... Safari and Chrome play everything just fine.

So... long story short, set your Fire browser to the mobile site and it should work just as well.

D-Man777 wrote:

First, thanks for all the responses to my questions. Very helpful as always.

I did some experimenting with my wife's first gen Fire last night with ripped video. I put a native resolution episode of Big Bang Theory on it and it played well and looked fantastic. The file was pretty large at ~350MB, but that was not the problem.

The problem was getting the damned thing to connect to my PC. I connected it via USB, and the Kindle reacted as expected showing the connection and stating that it was now able to receive files from the computer. However, I couldn't get the PC to recognize the Kindle as a storage device. After LOTS of tinkering I got it to connect properly after rebooting everything. I transferred the file and it worked great.

Only after reconnecting the Kindle, it went back to being stubborn about being recognized. I finally got fed up and gave up for the night.

Is this a common problem? Has anyone had any of these problems on the HD? I did notice that when connected, it never showed the battery as charging. I tried multiple USB ports, but only had one cable. But the cable and ports have had no prior problems, including charging other devices.

I'm still waffling between a Fire HD and a Nexus 7. I'll continue to appreciate any other thoughts you fine folks might have.

D-

I didn't have any issues with mine. I had some trouble getting the right driver for ADB when rooting it. Other than that It's transferred files on two machines I've used without issue. Both machines are Windows 7 and both are 64 bit. Either tablet is a great choice. I would lean towards the Fire for content use or if you are a prime member. I would lean towards the N7 for general use or if you want to play with the OS.

So, my wife and I were in a Best Buy in Sarasota, Florida, just killing time before we had to go to the airport to come home, and we ran into a Paperwhite in the wild. I knew she had ordered one from Amazon for me for Christmas, but she was worried that we weren't going to get it in time, so she bought that one. I haven't had an e-ink Kindle for a few years now, sticking with my iPad and a Kindle Fire, but man, is reading on this thing a better experience. I like it because I can't check GWJ, Twitter, or play a game from the same device, so I just read.

Soon after opening it at the airport, I bought The Great Gatsby to read in advance of next month's Idle Thumbs Book Club podcast. By the time we got home, I finished the novel. Granted, it's short, but I don't think I would have finished it if I was reading on my iPad.

E-Ink has that effect. People forget how easy on the eyes it is.

So the memory may not be that fresh to do the comparison, but how does the paperwhite display compare to the traditional one? I have a touch from last year and am kinda curious if the switch is worth it.

Luggage wrote:

So the memory may not be that fresh to do the comparison, but how does the paperwhite display compare to the traditional one? I have a touch from last year and am kinda curious if the switch is worth it.

After having mine for a month or so I can say without reservation that it's a worthy upgrade. I can't go back. The backlight and pixel density have spoiled me.

ColdForged wrote:
Luggage wrote:

So the memory may not be that fresh to do the comparison, but how does the paperwhite display compare to the traditional one? I have a touch from last year and am kinda curious if the switch is worth it.

After having mine for a month or so I can say without reservation that it's a worthy upgrade. I can't go back. The backlight and pixel density have spoiled me.

Lo mismo.

So other than eventually upgrading to the paperwhite, I am thinking about getting my family the Fire HD 8.9'' for Christmas. Problem is, they are in Europe, where the 8.9'' isn't sold yet. This may be a long shot, but does anyone have experience with buying a Kindle in the US and then using it in another country long-term (say register it to a amazon.co.uk account)?

Luggage wrote:

So the memory may not be that fresh to do the comparison, but how does the paperwhite display compare to the traditional one? I have a touch from last year and am kinda curious if the switch is worth it.

The PaperWhite has a higher resolution screen in addition to the light that makes it look more like paper. If you're ok with touching the screen, it's a good update. I still don't like touching the screen.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
Luggage wrote:

So the memory may not be that fresh to do the comparison, but how does the paperwhite display compare to the traditional one? I have a touch from last year and am kinda curious if the switch is worth it.

The PaperWhite has a higher resolution screen in addition to the light that makes it look more like paper. If you're ok with touching the screen, it's a good update. I still don't like touching the screen.

That's my biggest reservation. I wish I could buy a Kindle Keyboard with a PaperWhite display.